Cinema’s year of culture

The Royal Opera House's Cendrillon being screened live in cinemas.
The Royal Opera House's Cendrillon being screened live in cinemas.
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This may be the year of the Olympics in London, but for the Blackpool ODEON it is turning out to be ‘2012 – Year Of Culture’.

With 11 events already booking in the first 13 weeks of the year, Fylde culture fans look like being in for a bumper year.

ODEON manager Colin Alexander said: “ODEON+ Culture and ODEON+ Music were a massive success for the cinema in 2011 delivering many full houses and out-performing almost all the other ODEONs in the country.

“We have a great programme of events starting this month and taking us through the year. We have more great plays live from the National Theatre, more classical performances live from the Berlin Philharmoniker, more live ballet and the best of other music and theatrical events from around the globe.”

First up is Cinderella (Cendrillon) from the Royal Opera Company (January 16 at 7.30pm and January 24 at 2pm).

It’s the first time that the company has presented the story of Cinderella as told in Massenet’s opera Cendrillon (pictured right).

The production, new to the Royal Opera House, is by Laurent Pelly, whose previous work there has included the spectacularly successful La Fille du regiment, a heart warming L’elisir d’amore and last season’s stylish new Manon.

Pelly brings his characteristic lightness of touch, wit and elegance to Massenet’s delightfully tuneful score against sets and costumes of fairytale charm.

Joyce DiDonato takes the title role, with Alice Coote – following the principal boy tradition of British pantomime – as her Prince Charming.

There is even a Fairy Godmother, played by Eglise Gutierrez, in this version of a tale that gained particular popularity from the published fairytales of Frenchman Charles Perrault.

Musical highlights include the Fairy Godmother’s Coloatura, the orchestral dances of the ball, the March of the Princesses and the rapturous duets between the Pince and Cendrillon.

French music specialist Bertrand de Billy is the conductor of an opera of radiance and charm.

The season of special attractions continues with The Berliner Philharmoniker: The Art of Song Live (January 27 at 6.30pm) followed by The Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think (February 3 at 10pm).

For nearly two decades The Chemical Brothers audiovisual live shows have played to packed houses and festivals across the globe but it has never been documented on film – until now.

In 2011 at the iconic Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, The Chemical Brothers played a headline set in front of 50,000 fans which was captured on 21 cameras. Immersing viewers in the thick of a frenetic crowd Don’t Think captures the barrage of sound, film and lights and the transforming effect it has on its audience.

Directed by Adam Smith, one of the show’s visual creators, viewers are taken on a realistic psychedelic journey to make them feel the show rather than merely watch it.

The season continues with:

* The Royal Opera House: Il Trittico (February 6, 7.30pm and February 21, 2pm)

* NT Live: Travelling Light (February 9, 6.45pm)

* NT Live: The Comedy Of Errors (March 1, 6.45pm)

* The Berliner Philharmoniker Oboe Concerto Live (March 4, 6.30pm)

* Romeo & Juliet Live (March 22, 7.15pm)

NT Live: She Stoops To Conquer (March 29, 6.45pm).

All the events can be booked online at or by dropping in at the ODEON Box Office on Rigby Road.